Global expert on collaborative consumption Rachel Botsman was recently interviewed on the breakfast program Sunrise where she outlined the need for different forms of regulation in the sharing economy. While incumbents and the general public have legitimate concerns over the rise of reputation capital through peer-2-peer platforms, she says that legislation should focus the lens of accountability on corporations rather than peers.
“Where regulation plays a role is on the companies themselves; how they should pay tax, how they should protect drivers and how they should protect guests are big issues.”
Botsman added that new forms of self-regulation, on platforms like Airbnb and Uber, are effectively rating bad actors out of the marketplace and thus reducing the need for a broad statutory framework.
“You could actually argue that these systems are safer and that we treat one and other better because people are not interacting with a corporation, they are interacting with another person.”
The interview also referenced Ashton Kutcher, an original investor in the ridesharing company Uber, who has defended the pseudo-taxi start-up and argued for legislative reform. Rather emotively, he described the sharing economy as a “rebel spirit” that is rightly demanding open and fair business. As the global debate over the implications of sharing continue, Sunrise is yet another source highlighting the disruptive power of micro entrepreneurship.